Author Topic: Senate Commerce Committee Executive and Congress Version - July 15 onwards  (Read 661748 times)

Offline Drkskywxlt

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Apparently Congressman Gordon will meet with 'aggrieved' lawmakers today about commercial crew and tech development.  That would push any possible vote on HR5781 until tomorrow.  I called my Congressman's office to say vote "no!" on the House's currently terrible bill. 

Offline robertross

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as a generic tax payer and space advocate. What is the best path forward for future manned space exploration/expansion? Is it really holding on to the Shuttle infrastructure?


I do not wish to derail this thread by petty remarks, but I have to weigh in on this one.

Taxpayers expect government to hand everything to them for free, ensure that everything works without issue, otherwise they can their butts when they feel disgruntled. Taxpayers (in general) are just as much part of the problem. (I'll leave the issues of job creation to a sperate forum).

Just looking at the those on this forum who CARE about spaceflight show a broad range of beliefs and opinions.

(and to tie it up into this thread): For 51D Mascot to come on here and provide substative proof that many in the Senate are finally working towards a compromise bill that covers all their 'needs', with a poll on here that suggests they 'seem' to be getting the job done (finally), we have to be pretty happy that spaceflight, and specifically 'manned' spaceflight, has a future.

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Technically in the bill it is a US short ton unless the word metric or tonne is specifically used.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ton
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonne


Not if the Committee Reporting the bill specifically notes the intent...or changes the language itself before final passage to ensure no misinterpretation, which is also a possibility. Those are easy kinds of "perfecting" changes that can be made along the way...especially if it becomes apparent that there is sufficient disparity of view or uncertainty about meaning or intent.

Turns out the people who write legislation are...well...PEOPLE, and capable of assumptions and/or outright oversights. Which is a good part of why the process of enactment has a lot of way-points where those things can be refined.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline phantomdj

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Oh really - What part?
 - That we can't afford 150 mT payloads in the foreseeable future?
 - That we can't build 150 mT, 200mT, or 500mT lifters, *and* afford their payloads?

This is a strawman argument to say the least.

The only vehicle being built in the “foreseeable future” will lift 70mT with the capability to evolve into a 130mT vehicle in the out years if and when we have a need.  We can build 70mT payloads and many are on the drawing boards as listed in many places on this forum.

There is no need for a 150mT vehicle today and no one has suggested such.  Plus there are no legitimate 150mT payload on the drawing.  Maybe 10 or 20 years from now, if or when there is a need for a150mT payloads, we might upgrade a vehicle for that or as some have suggested build it in 2 pieces.
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Offline Lars_J

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as a generic tax payer and space advocate. What is the best path forward for future manned space exploration/expansion? Is it really holding on to the Shuttle infrastructure?


I do not wish to derail this thread by petty remarks, but I have to weigh in on this one.

Taxpayers expect government to hand everything to them for free, ensure that everything works without issue, otherwise they can their butts when they feel disgruntled. Taxpayers (in general) are just as much part of the problem. (I'll leave the issues of job creation to a sperate forum).

I do not wish to derail this either, but what you just posted is a rather amazing statement. Yes, a lot of people expect free hand-outs. But tax payers... you know... actually *pay* taxes. (how could that be 'free'?) It is *our* government. Don't you DARE call it a problem that tax payers should care how the money is spent. People who have spent too much time in Govt. circles start to think of tax payers as just a source of funding. Now *that* is the problem. Not the other way around.

Sorry about the side-track.
« Last Edit: 07/29/2010 08:03 pm by Lars_J »

Offline Lars_J

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Oh really - What part?
 - That we can't afford 150 mT payloads in the foreseeable future?
 - That we can't build 150 mT, 200mT, or 500mT lifters, *and* afford their payloads?

This is a strawman argument to say the least.

I was merely responding to OV-106 writing that nothing in my post had any basis in reality. Don't take it out of context. (and that was coming from an earlier reply I made to a post by Chris where he asked what payloads were considered for the upper payload range in the proposed bill)
« Last Edit: 07/29/2010 08:02 pm by Lars_J »

Online Robotbeat

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Oh really - What part?
 - That we can't afford 150 mT payloads in the foreseeable future?
 - That we can't build 150 mT, 200mT, or 500mT lifters, *and* afford their payloads?

This is a strawman argument to say the least.

The only vehicle being built in the “foreseeable future” will lift 70mT with the capability to evolve into a 130mT vehicle in the out years if and when we have a need.  We can build 70mT payloads and many are on the drawing boards as listed in many places on this forum.

There is no need for a 150mT vehicle today and no one has suggested such.  Plus there are no legitimate 150mT payload on the drawing.  Maybe 10 or 20 years from now, if or when there is a need for a150mT payloads, we might upgrade a vehicle for that or as some have suggested build it in 2 pieces.

Not a strawman at all because the argument applies to both 70mt and 150mt "HLVs". Do people think that NASA will magically get a 50% or even a 20% (inflation-adjusted) budget increase over the next decade or two? While I greatly hope it does, I see no data or strong argument to suggest that will actually happen. The only thing an outside observer can reasonably expect is a flat budget adjusted for inflation. And NASA pretty much needs at least 20% more budget in order to pay for real and frequent payloads (without gutting other important programs) on just about any HLV, whether 70 tons or 150 tons, short or long, metric or imperial.

Find that 3 or 4 billion per year extra, and I'll be an HLV advocate. Yes, it isn't much at all in the total federal budget, but where's the actual support for adding that money? None of the FY2011 proposals had anything like that kind of money being added, not from the White House, Senate, or the House of Representatives.

NASA can build and fly a SDHLV under its current budget, but it will need some kind of budget increase to actually fly something regularly on it (EDIT: without gutting other critical areas almost entirely, that is).

EDIT:I should note that this is a marked improvement over Constellation, which couldn't even afford to fly Ares I or V under the current budget even while gutting important programs and without having much in the way of actual payloads.
« Last Edit: 07/29/2010 08:10 pm by Robotbeat »
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Offline Namechange User

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Oh really - What part?
 - That we can't afford 150 mT payloads in the foreseeable future?
 - That we can't build 150 mT, 200mT, or 500mT lifters, *and* afford their payloads?

This is a strawman argument to say the least.

I was merely responding to OV-106 writing that nothing in my post had any basis in reality. Don't take it out of context.

Well, with all due respect, you were the one bringing up those size launch vehicles in an attempt to derail the discussion in an attempt to justify your "cannot afford" statements. 

Again, nowhere, has anyone seriously discussed those size launch vehicles.  Again, legislation suggests *evolvable*, a point you ignore for the purposes of your arguement.  Again, that top level requirement seems to have been reduced further and again a first-order SDLV would lift approximately 70-75 mT. 
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Offline moose103

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There should be no debate.  The preliminary budget is there to read. 

Either it contains funding for 75mT payloads, or it doesn't.  Which is it?

Offline Namechange User

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NASA can build and fly a SDHLV under its current budget, but it will need some kind of budget increase to actually fly something regularly on it (EDIT: without gutting other critical areas almost entirely, that is).


So hypothetically speaking at a high level, today in the HSF area we have ISS, CxP and Shuttle. 

CxP is going away, except for Orion, but the money is really not.  Shuttle, in its current form is going away.  With respect to STS, the largest part of the program in terms of budget and manpower is related to orbiter.  If that is no longer needed, then logically, a SDLV should be considerably cheaper.

If "commercial" is to reduce the cost of transport to LEO significantly reduce transportation costs where those can be purchased firm-fixed price, how is so many are saying there is no money for anything?
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Online Robotbeat

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NASA can build and fly a SDHLV under its current budget, but it will need some kind of budget increase to actually fly something regularly on it (EDIT: without gutting other critical areas almost entirely, that is).


So hypothetically speaking at a high level, today in the HSF area we have ISS, CxP and Shuttle. 

CxP is going away, except for Orion, but the money is really not.  Shuttle, in its current form is going away.  With respect to STS, the largest part of the program in terms of budget and manpower is related to orbiter.  If that is no longer needed, then logically, a SDLV should be considerably cheaper.

If "commercial" is to reduce the cost of transport to LEO significantly reduce transportation costs where those can be purchased firm-fixed price, how is so many are saying there is no money for anything?
Constellation reduced funding for some old R&D (and unmanned) projects, like the New Millennium Program. That money has been returned via the White House's and Senate's FY2011 compromise. And notice I said "regular" HLV missions. That means at least 5 or 6 launches a year, not of a reusable payload (like the orbiter), but of newly fabricated aerospace-grade hardware.  That's expensive. Specialized payloads typically cost around $100,000/kg, but even if you can somehow reduce that to $10,000/kg, we're still talking 3 or 4 billion dollars. Remember, ISS is sticking around until at least 2020, now. And it doesn't require hundreds of tons of supplies every year.

Of course, this is sort of bass ackwards. The payloads are why the launch vehicle exists, not the other way around.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Namechange User

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NASA can build and fly a SDHLV under its current budget, but it will need some kind of budget increase to actually fly something regularly on it (EDIT: without gutting other critical areas almost entirely, that is).


So hypothetically speaking at a high level, today in the HSF area we have ISS, CxP and Shuttle. 

CxP is going away, except for Orion, but the money is really not.  Shuttle, in its current form is going away.  With respect to STS, the largest part of the program in terms of budget and manpower is related to orbiter.  If that is no longer needed, then logically, a SDLV should be considerably cheaper.

If "commercial" is to reduce the cost of transport to LEO significantly reduce transportation costs where those can be purchased firm-fixed price, how is so many are saying there is no money for anything?
Constellation reduced funding for some old R&D (and unmanned) projects, like the New Millennium Program. That money has been returned via the White House's and Senate's FY2011 compromise. And notice I said "regular" HLV missions. That means at least 5 or 6 launches a year, not of a reusable payload (like the orbiter), but of newly fabricated aerospace-grade hardware.  That's expensive. Specialized payloads typically cost around $100,000/kg, but even if you can somehow reduce that to $10,000/kg, we're still talking 3 or 4 billion dollars. Remember, ISS is sticking around until at least 2020, now. And it doesn't require hundreds of tons of supplies every year.

Of course, this is sort of bass ackwards. The payloads are why the launch vehicle exists, not the other way around.

Cutting the hairs pretty thinly there. 
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Online Robotbeat

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Cutting the hairs pretty thinly there. 
That's what this boils down to. So said Augustine.

But the Senate bill really isn't that bad. Although there's not enough money to really make HLV "worth it", there is some money for payloads that don't necessarily depend absolutely on the HLV. It's far, far better than the House bill.
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To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline nooneofconsequence

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Of course, this is sort of bass ackwards. The payloads are why the launch vehicle exists, not the other way around.
My biggest single issue with NASA and Congress for all time.
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Offline Chris Bergin

Another presser - not sure what Columbia has to do with this...?

Planetary Society Urges Debate on NASA Authorization Bill



The Planetary Society today issued a statement about the request that the U.S. House of Representatives suspend the rules when voting on the NASA Authorization bill:

The U.S. House of Representatives is being asked today to bring a highly controversial NASA Authorization bill (H.R. 5781) to the floor for a quick vote before Congress heads out of town for its summer break. The NASA bill would be taken up under procedures to "suspend the rules" that limit debate and do not allow amendments or changes to the bill. The future of the space program is too important to rush through a controversial change in policy.

The Planetary Society is very concerned that the proposed NASA Authorization, which was only recently unveiled by the House Science and Technology committee, has taken an approach to space exploration that deviates significantly from any plan offered by NASA or any previous Administration -- one that raises many fundamental questions about the direction and sustainability of the space program.

Specifically, the proposed bill abandons any significant investment in exploration technology, effectively eliminates the Administration's approach for engaging the commercial sector, establishes a program of loan guarantees that the Administration did not request, and seeks to reinstate programs that have been determined to be unsustainable. It also proposed no specific exploration goals for U.S. human spaceflight, a serious omission that was recognized after the tragic loss of life on the shuttle Columbia. Human space flight should be worth its cost and risk, and, as the Augustine Committee stated after an independent review of the U.S. human spaceflight program, "worthy of a great nation."

There has been inadequate time to review and understand the implications of this new plan. Therefore, the Society urges the House leadership to wait until after the August recess to bring the bill to the House Floor, allowing a full and open debate and for amendments to improve the bill.

« Last Edit: 07/29/2010 11:23 pm by Chris Bergin »
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Offline Namechange User

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Another presser - not sure what Columbia has to do with this...?


In the CAIB report it strongly recommended NASA be given an overall goal and that goal be consistent throughout administrations and congresses in order to actually achieve some results instead of the constant start/stop cycle.

Since the House version sticks to the "status quo" much more it is ironic they are pointing it out and using that statement to only argue for the points they are advocating. 
« Last Edit: 07/29/2010 11:50 pm by OV-106 »
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Mike which proposal do you think will win out: House or Senate?
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Offline Namechange User

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Mike which proposal do you think will win out: House or Senate?

I would hope the Senate but there is another on here far better qualified to speak to that. 
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Mike which proposal do you think will win out: House or Senate?

I would hope the Senate but there is another on here far better qualified to speak to that. 
51 I would guess.
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